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An A* Algorithm for Flight Planning Based on Idealized Vertical Profiles

Authors Marco Blanco, Ralf Borndörfer, Pedro Maristany de las Casas



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Author Details

Marco Blanco
  • Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. KG, Raunheim, Germany
  • Zuse Institute, Berlin, Germany
Ralf Borndörfer
  • Zuse Institute, Berlin, Germany
Pedro Maristany de las Casas
  • Zuse Institute, Berlin, Germany

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Marco Blanco, Ralf Borndörfer, and Pedro Maristany de las Casas. An A* Algorithm for Flight Planning Based on Idealized Vertical Profiles. In 22nd Symposium on Algorithmic Approaches for Transportation Modelling, Optimization, and Systems (ATMOS 2022). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 106, pp. 1:1-1:15, Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)
https://doi.org/10.4230/OASIcs.ATMOS.2022.1

Abstract

The Flight Planning Problem is to find a minimum fuel trajectory between two airports in a 3D airway network under consideration of the wind. We show that this problem is NP-hard, even in its most basic version. We then present a novel A* heuristic, whose potential function is derived from an idealized vertical profile over the remaining flight distance. This potential is, under rather general assumptions, both admissible and consistent and it can be computed efficiently. The method outperforms the state-of-the-art heuristic on real-life instances.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Mathematics of computing → Graph algorithms
  • Mathematics of computing → Paths and connectivity problems
  • Mathematics of computing → Combinatorial optimization
  • Mathematics of computing → Discrete optimization
Keywords
  • shortest path problem
  • a-star algorithm
  • flight trajectory optimization
  • flight planning
  • heuristics

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References

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